Part I — Transcendence of the past

Question: How can I best forget the past?

Sri Chinmoy: My maxim is, “The past is dust.” It is a wonderful phrase. The past really is dust. Let us be sincere to ourselves. Once upon a time, you were insincere. But today you are sitting in front of a spiritual Master and sincere seekers are all around you. Undoubtedly you are one of these sincere seekers. A sincere seeker knows that he has only one thing to cry for in this life, and that thing is God.

Now when we say “God”, what we actually mean is Joy, Peace, Light and Power.

Joy, real joy, is the spontaneous expansion of one’s consciousness.

Next we come to peace. What is peace? A child is peaceful when you give him a toy. He plays for ten or fifteen minutes, and while playing he makes a lot of noise. But the very noise that he is making gives him a sense of peace. He may be disturbing others, but the noise that he is making is his perfect peace. This is the understanding of a child. But you are a sincere seeker. Your peace cannot come from outside, from playing games or smiling at someone. Your peace must come from within yourself. It is there, but you have to bring it to the fore through your aspiration.

After peace comes light. For a blind man, the real light is the sun. When you stand in front of a blind man and say “light,” immediately he will cry for the sun. The conception of a blind man is that the sun is the only light, because he is always in darkness. But a spiritual seeker is wise. When you say “light” to him, the spiritual seeker will immediately go deep within. There he will see the real light. You have two eyes, and they function very well. But according to the great spiritual Masters, you are no better than a blind man because your eyes do not see the real light, the light that can change your consciousness. The sun shines on all human beings, irrespective of their age or profession. A man of morality and an immoral person can both receive sunlight. But the inner light is meant only for those who are crying for God and who want to serve God. This light is within you.

The last quality is power. You see physical power, vital power and mental power all the time. You can strike and beat a person with physical power. You can torment a person with vital power. And you can exercise intellectual supremacy with mental power. But there are two other kinds of power: psychic power and the soul’s power. With psychic power we do not show our supremacy over others. We only make others feel our oneness with them. We use the soul’s power only to illumine ourselves, and while we are being illumined, we feel the existence of others in our heart.

When we pray, meditate and aspire, our soul’s power is released, and we feel our oneness with the entire world. This oneness is a result of our conscious oneness with God. Until we have become one with God, we can never become one with humanity. Someone may say, “Let me become one with humanity first, and then I will become one with God.” But I will say that it is impossible. If you really want to establish your oneness with the tree of humanity, then first establish your oneness with God, who is the root.

Very often we use our human power for destruction. At that time power takes the form of aggression. Very rarely do we use our human power for a dynamic awareness of things around us or for a dynamic movement in our life. But the soul’s power is all peace and all dynamism at the same time.

When you want to see the soul in its perfect form of peace and equanimity, look within. When you want to see the dynamic power of the soul, the power that awakens and illumines our slumbering consciousness, look within. We use the soul’s power to realise the Highest and we use the soul’s power to illumine others’ consciousness. It is the soul’s power that we use to bring the Infinite into the finite and lift the finite into the Infinite.

How can you forget the past? Do you have joy, light, peace and power, the qualities that I mentioned? The immediate answer is in the negative. Are you satisfied with what you have and what you are? Again, the immediate answer is no. If you want real divine peace, light and power, and if these are the things that you are crying for, then you will definitely get them. You will get them either right at this moment or in the moment that is fast dawning in your life. The past has played its role. Right now it can prove to the sincere seekers or to your own aspiration that you are a failure because you do not have the things you really want. Failure is one of the so-called pillars of success. You may have failed yesterday, but that does not mean that you will fail again today. Yesterday you did not aspire, but today you are consciously trying to achieve the highest, the best and the most perfect life. Today you are crying for the things that you really want and need. And today only the present or the future can give you what you want.

Now, when I use the terms “future” or “Eternity”, you don’t have to feel that this means that you must wait forever. This is a wrong conception because Eternity is here in the immediacy of today. If Eternity meant that we had to wait billions and trillions of years before achieving the Infinite, then life would be hopeless. We would be always waiting. But Eternity is where we came from. Eternity is where we still abide. And Eternity is where we will have the full opportunity to grow and develop. So here on earth, the meaning of the future and Eternity is not just today, but this very moment.

The future and the present are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. The present together with the future form reality. A coin has two sides. If you see that one side of a coin is blank, then you will reject it. When you can see the present and the future, then you are seeing both sides of reality. But if you see only one side of reality, then it is incomplete and imperfect.

So your present and future must go together. Then you will see that you are transforming your life into a golden coin made by God Himself, and you will live in God’s treasure house where there is only Reality, Light and Power. At that time you will feel no fear, no anxiety, no doubt, no sense of abnegation and no self-torture. It will be all self-awareness, self-enlightenment, revelation and fulfilment.